The god of deism defines morality

Deistic and theistic constitutionalism

Christian Justice and the Constitutional State pp 65-86 | Cite as

Part of the Democratic Existence Today book series (DEH, volume 14)


In its Critique of Practical Reason Kant observes that religion requires knowledge and understanding that all duties are commandments of God, but that they are not arbitrary commandments of someone else's will, but essential laws of every free will, which must nonetheless be regarded as commands of the highest being.1 Such a description of religion in terms of man and virtues is not downright deistic and theistic, but rather indicates that both are transcended in Kant's final formulation. Of course, that depends somewhat on the interpretation of these terms. In the precisely defined philosophical sense, theism means that God is constantly working in the world, influencing man and nature, whereas, according to deism, God created the world and "wound the clock", gave it its "laws of motion," but did not interfere directly can. Indeed, deism has taken the rational component out of the theological teachings of Thomas Aquinas and Hooker and made it the core of "natural" religion. This natural religion is the expression of reason as "natural light"; as such, they all have people, and anyone can discover and adopt them.

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  1. Critique of Practical Reason, 1st part, 2nd book, 2nd main part, chap. V in Cassirer's edition of Immanuel Kant's works, V, 140. Google Scholar
  2. See Edward Herbert, First Lord of Cherbury, De Religione Laici (1645). "1. Eat aliquod supremum numen. 2. Numen illud coli debere.Google Scholar
  3. Virtutem, cum pietate conjunctam, optimam esse rationem cultus divini.Google Scholar
  4. 4. Resipiscendum esse a peccatis. 5. Dari praemium, vel poenam post harte vitam transaetam. " Quoted from Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1790), book 1, chap. III, § 19. The work is henceforth called essay The large Roman number indicates the book, a small Roman number the chapter, an Arabic number the paragraph. I used the sixth folio from 1759. Google Scholar
  5. essay, IV, ix, 2. Ober Locke in general, apart from the classic works by Bourne (1876) and Aaron (1936, 1955), cf. Maurice Cranston's important book, John Locke: A Biography (1957), which is based on a lot of new material and creates a new image of the human being. Because for the political and constitutional theorist they have Treatises on Civil Government and in particular the second, entitled "An Essay Concerning the True Original, Extent and End of Civil Government," which goes back to the editorial work of Peter Laslett, whose critical edition (1962) also contains a very learned introduction. In addition to the "Treatises on Civil Government" As a result of W. von Leyden's careful editing, we have a better overview of Locke's views on natural law, or at least their origin, from the Essays on the Law of Nature, Ed. Leyden (1954). Of course, Leyden's views have not gone unchallenged; see the work by J. Yolten, "Locke on the Law of Nature", Philosophical Review, LXVII (1958), 477-498. Nevertheless, Leyden's thorough introduction contains an important commentary on Locke's philosophy of law. Finally, may J. W. Gough, Locke's Political Philosophy (1950). Google Scholar
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  7. On this early work, see the edition by W. von Leyden, which contains the Latin text, a translation, and a thorough introduction of great value. Apart from this work, I have Richard H. Cox's "Locke's Design for Justice" and Raymond Polin's "Locke on Justice", both in Nomos, VI, Justice, used to great advantage. See also the latter La Politique Morale de John Locke (1960) and the former Locke on War and Peace (1960), especially chap. II.Google Scholar
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  12. Polish woman, loc., Chap. VII p. 251: »Lorsqu'on a pratiqué longuement les oeuvres de Locke, qu'on les a prices et reprises en tout sens, on garde pardessus tout l'impression d'un grand effort de justice très raisonnable, très réfléchi, très mesuré, mais très humain . " Polin notes that the word "justice" is not often used and in the index of his Works missing.Google Scholar
  13. Cox, a. a. O., Chap. II. He sums up his argument, referred to in the previous paragraph of this chapter, in the following sentence: This (namely Locke's) positive doctrine, in turn, gradually reduces the dependence of the principles of bourgeois government on religious dogmas, until the end clearly becomes that bourgeois government is based only on the desires and rights of people, regardless of that doctrine. "I mention this because the chapter apparently only deals with" The State of Nature and the Law of Nature. " The underlying claim that Locke essentially agrees with Hobbes has been successfully refuted by Laslett in the introduction to his book cited above (paragraph 3), and Leyden had anticipated it in his edition. Google Scholar
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  15. Henry Sidgwick, Outlines of the History of Ethics (1901) and A. J. Car-lyle, A History of Medieval Political Theory in the West, Vol. I (1903) cannot, as Cox does, be cited as evidence to the contrary; their representations relate to specific doctrines and only recognize the stoicism connection that Locke shares with the entire Christian tradition.Google Scholar
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  19. Because, as Leyden rightly says, for Locke (in Natural law, 56) "the fact that moral principles cannot be inferred from human nature does not mean that they are not also God's commandments." The same is true of Thomas Aquinas, Calvin, and Hooker. The references to Scripture and reason for this equation of "the law of God and that of nature" are numerous in Locke's scriptures. See the following references in of the treatise: I, 4, 16-17, 56, 60, 89-90, 93, 111, 116, 119, 126, 166; II, 1, 8, 25–26, 52, 56–58, 66, 135, 142, 172, 195. Cox cites the same paragraphs and gives an outline of the content, but only to dismiss them as "superficial." Google Scholar
  20. The doctrine of the Stoa about this is sometimes ambiguous, but the most important view, such as the Ciceros, is elitist, as shown in the concept of a "state of the wise" - a kind of anticipation of the concept of the invisible church. The whole contains a fascinating dialectic; because the invisible church is an anti-elite as far as this world is in question.Google Scholar
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  24. A brilliantly compiled documentation and a good introduction contains Charles Blitzer, The Commonwealth of England, 1641-1660 (1963); see also mine "The Baroque Age" (1952), chap. X and the literature cited there.Google Scholar
  25. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Chap. XIV. See also chap. XXXXI, where it says that God's "law of nature" is derived from "his irresistible power" and therefore without limits. Google Scholar
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  30. The Basics of the Constitutions for a Carolina Government, esp. Art. 97. Locke assisted in drafting these plans.Google Scholar
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  38. At the end of Proof of a demonstration of the existence of God (1763); he had previously confirmed that the ontological proof was merely "logical." Google Scholar
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  40. The most detailed of these reviews contains Max Scheler, The formalism in ethics and the material ethics of values (1916). Google Scholar
  41. Foundation of the metaphysics of morals, Part 2 (Works IV, 287). For the detailed account of the following see my book Inevitable Peace, Chap. VI, especially p. 174 ff. Google Scholar
  42. The Critique of Judgment (1793) in Works, V, 233-568. The work was hailed as the "crowning achievement" and criticized as a refutation of the other two criticisms. It is perhaps more appropriate to say that this criticism completes Kant's "critical rationalism" in the sense of medieval rationalism.Google Scholar
  43. Based on the Foundation and from the Critique of Practical Reason Kant's philosophy of law forms the first part of his Metaphysics of Morals (1797), Works, VII, 1-180. Hans Kelsen built his "pure" legal theory on the Kantian dichotomy of fact and norm, but then, unlike Kant, tried to apply it to the "empirical variety of cases" in the quotation given above - a highly dubious procedure. See my book The philosophy of law in a historical perspective (1963), especially chap. XIV, p. 171 ff., Where reference is made to Kelsen in more detail. The quotations in the text of this study are from the metaphysics..., pp. 17, 14 and 31 ff. Google Scholar
  44. Metaphysics, a. a. O., Pp. 38-39. The following quote can be found on page 47. Google Scholar
  45. Works, V, 174. Google Scholar
  46. The dispute between the faculties, Section 2 Works, VII, 400. The section deals with the dispute between the philosophical and law faculties.Google Scholar
  47. Tractatus Tbeologico-Politicus, Chap. XVI (Meiner, Hamburg, 1955). Google Scholar
  48. Idea for a general story with cosmopolitan intent, 1784, in Works, IV, 151 ff. The quotation can be found on page 162, the following on page 163. Google Scholar
  49. A detailed description and the historical background can be found in my book The reason of state in the constitutional state, 1961, (Engl. Orig. Ed. 1957), esp. P. 95 ff Inevitable Peace, Chap. II.Google Scholar

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